Fear is the feeling you get when you are afraid or worried that something terrible is going to happen. It is an unpleasant emotion or thought that causes you to feel anxious, insecure, and a complete lack of positive feeling.
Fear can be real; Caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. It can also be imaginary, as a result of misperception or misjudgement of a situation.
It is worth noting that fear is a learned behaviour.
Types of fear
- The positive fear: This is the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom. This is the fear that causes awe and reverence for who He is and help lead us into a healthy, whole, and abundant life.
- The negative fear: This comes from a lack of confidence in God, and keeps us from experiencing God’s best.
This article is focused on the negative fear.
Fear is a powerful spiritual force; Because of its ability to attach itself to the mind, it must be confronted and routed out, if we must live beyond mere existence.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life”.(Proverbs 4:23)
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things”(Philippians 4:8).
We all have God-given purposes and visions for our lives but never get to fulfil them because we are constantly harassed by fear and intimidated by obstacles; Real or imaginary, until we cower down. In Hebrews Chapter 11, the Bible talks about the godly men and women who by listening to the calling of greatness God had placed within them, conquered their fears.
“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16).
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer 29:11).
Fear is certainly not from the father; for “God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7)
Anyone can experience fear, it creeps up on us unnoticed and can take any form:
“Fear of death, fear of rejection, sickness, fear of being trapped, fear of criticism, fear of commitment, fear of intimacy, fear of failure, fear of the unknown”. The list is endless.
It took a single threat from Jezebel to get Elijah so afraid, anxious and depressed that he fled to the desert and even asked God to take his life.(Read 1kings 19:1-4). This is an example of the power of fear and intimidation, and how it steals and kills visions, dreams and purposes.
FEAR is a tool in the devil’s arsenal to:
- Keep us emotionally and spiritually paralysed.
- Make us do things we normally wouldn’t do.
- Place limitation on our lives and potential
- Keep us from fulfilling our God-given purpose.
- Bring down and herd God’s people in docile submission.
- Cripple us, making us feel weak and helpless.
- Strip us of the power and authority we have in Christ.
- Intercept our personal growth and prevent the flow of the spirit of God;
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”(2 cor 3:17).
“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you”(Luke 10:19)
Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you the power to be successful, in order to fulfil the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath”(Deuteronomy 8:18)
- Make us live an ineffective Christian life.
Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it (John 14:12-14).
How possible is it to do the works Jesus did whilst we are overwhelmed by fear? for example, Jesus commanded Peter to walk on water as he (Peter) saw him (Jesus) do. Peter couldn’t go farther than his Faith could carry him. The measure he was able to have his eyes fixed on Christ was the exact measure he was able to accomplish; and immediately, just immediately he saw the wind (a distraction) he became afraid and began to sink.
- Make us sink in the ocean of life troubles; this only happens when our focus is away from the Lord.
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:28-30)
We live in a fallen world and have one reason or the other to be afraid but God wants to set us free from the negative fears that bound and prevent us from living and experiencing his best and has provided us assurance and comfort through scriptures:
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.”(Exodus 14:13)
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”(Psalm 23:4)
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”(Deuteronomy 31:6)
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you”(Isaiah 41:13)
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”.(John 14:27)